Birmingham, AL-(ENEWSPF)- A federal grand jury yesterday indicted a Louisiana man, suspected as “The Granddad Bandit” for two Alabama bank robberies, announced U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance and FBI Special Agent in Charge Patrick Maley.
The indictment filed in U.S. District Court charges MICHAEL FRANCIS MARA, 53, of Baton Rouge, with a 2009 bank robbery in Birmingham and a 2010 bank robbery in Huntsville.
The FBI arrested MARA on Aug. 12 in Baton Rouge for a bank robbery outside of Alabama. The arrest came soon after the FBI began using electronic billboards across the country as it sought “The Granddad Bandit” who was suspected in a string of robberies. MARA currently is in custody in Virginia, where it is expected that all bank robbery charges pending against him will be resolved.
“The FBI’s appeal to the public paid off with information that led to MARA’s arrest,” Vance said. “‘The Granddad Bandit’ intimidated employees at numerous banks across 13 states as he committed one robbery after another. The FBI, the media and the public came together to put this man behind bars, where he belongs,” she said.
The indictment in Birmingham charges MARA with robbing the Servis 1st Bank in downtown Birmingham on Aug. 21, 2009, and the Compass Bank on Governor’s Drive in Huntsville on Feb. 24, 2010. In both robberies, MARA presented a demand note to tellers, who each handed about $5,000 to the robber, according to the indictment.
The maximum sentence for each bank robbery is 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
The FBI investigated this case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary Stuart Burrell is prosecuting the case.
Members of the public are reminded that the indictment contains only charges. A defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government’s burden to prove a defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.